The problem with an old man writing an adventure blog…

This is the approach to the Lair from the wash on a pretty extremely typical Spring day…


As you see, excitement galore.

On the one hand this is exactly the way I like it: People come here and exclaim at the quiet, and the quiet is possibly the biggest reason I love it here so much. No traffic noise. No crime worries, no utility bills, no civil ‘servants’ decrying my chronic inability to submit my Form 27B/6 in proper order.

On the other hand, the Gulch has become a great deal tamer than it used to be. For the first several years of my residence life at the Gulch was a different sort of sea of troubles – constant infrastructure breakdowns, freezing and baking with the vagaries of weather through inadequate housing, issues with hostile wildlife. It’s the sort of problem-strewn life that, quite to my surprise, suited me rather well. I won’t say I never pounded my breast and cursed the gods over some new midnight plumbing failure but in general I became a much calmer and happier man here even in the worst of times than I ever was when I was trying to be Mr. Suburban Man.

To the extent physically possible the troubles have largely been sorted. Which is good, of course. And which has left me … rather bored.

And none too soon, honestly, because I am paying the price for an inadvertently adventurous life in the form of greatly increasing – shall we say skeletal issues. At one time or another I have outraged virtually all my major joints and as I approach 70 it is coming home to roost. I’m getting a lot more chair time than is quite right for a beautiful Spring. Certainly Tobie thinks so.

“I’m just saying that was a pretty pathetic walkie, Uncle Joel.”

Case in point: I started carrying a .44 revolver about 12 years ago after two scary incidents involving local wildlife, where I had a .45 1911 in my hand and felt naked. Seriously, I carry a .44 Magnum every day, usually loaded with .44 Special hollowpoints but also on my belt I’ve got speedloaders with everything from cheap plinking handloads to hardcast bear loads, and I do that because once upon a time I never knew what I might have to shoot during the course of any given day. And I kind of liked it that way. “It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” All that happy horseshit.

But it’s just not necessary anymore. I spoke with my friend Ian last weekend and he’s going to shop for a modern 9mm for the old man, more as a badge of office than as anything really needed, because frankly life here has gotten so tame it’s time to unburden my belt of the hand cannon and its ammunition limber. It will simplify life – and I like acquiring new guns as much as the next guy – but also it will make me a little sad.

Three years ago I wrote, “It might be time to retire the blog because it’s less and less about the adventure of roughing it out alone in the boonies and more about an old man quietly living in a cabin with a Corgi.” There have been troubles and adventures since then – little did I know how soon that damned Corgi was going to break my heart – and no doubt there will be troubles and adventures in the future. But the slide toward quiet old age has continued apace. Makes it a little hard to come up with interesting blog fodder, is all.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to The problem with an old man writing an adventure blog…

  1. bill says:

    (My computer froze when I was previously posting some sap and I don’t know what happened to my thing which was bs anyway) ……… You don’t have to speak if you have nothing to say. Most of us seem to have little to say either. Just check in once in awhile to let us know you are still kicking. I always enjoy your pictures because I like to see what you are seeing while I am sitting and staring out at my place. I have thought if you were to compile your photos with a brief explanation, you would have a cool coffee-table book about your world in the desert.

  2. Judy says:

    Quiet is nice, isn’t it? I like that the biggest problem I have now is remembering to fill the water filtering gizmo so I have decent tasting water later. Or getting something out of the freezer for dinner. Sure beats the hell out of the way I was living in my 20s.

  3. Anonymous says:

    There’s always pictures of the pear tree, and also I am extremely curious about the goat people. Do they depend on the goats for income and if so how do they market them

  4. feralfae says:

    Adventures come in many guises. Sometimes, the adventure is baking the prefect loaf of bread. Sometimes it is saying goodbye to dear buddy Bear. Life is an adventure, and thank you for sharing your many adventures with us. Today, I charged the battery and started the MGB. The little tractor battery is charging now, and the summer patio is set up. We could have one more blizzard, but I am hopeful that we have had our last big snow for spring. Tiny tulip leaves have pushed through the soil out by the Medicine Wheel. Mornings these days, I check the alignment stones for sunrises, now north of the equinox stone. Morning prayers outside are a pleasure now. My paper at the Museum of the Rockies went well. I have three invitations from publishers for my paper, and so I must polish it. Favoring “Astronomy” for publication right now, but things could change. Thank you Joel, for sharing your adventures with us. Thank you for sharing your attitude, your sense of life, and your wry sense of humor. Witnessing you surviving and thriving in the desert, watching your often clever responses to detours and disasters, has been an inspiration and an education on the creativity of human interaction with the environment. Bravo! Carry on!

  5. Tree Mike says:

    Some of us geezers are just fine with “whatever” posting. I like your reasoning and set up with the 44, it will handle anything (add snake shot?). I went the other way, the 9mm wasn’t enough by itself, so add 2 spare mags for 55 rounds total. then I added a USAF 5″ survival knife (made like a smaller K-Bar) for fighting lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!, and seat belts. Then I needed suspenders to keep it all from pulling my pants down. Instead of being put out by the weight, I decided it was physical therapy. People say “Whuddaya need so much ammo for?! Because maybe there’s a bunch of “THEM” and I’ll need fire suppression while beat feeting out of my unfortunate circumstances. With 2 replacement knees I don’t beatfeet very fast, so I’ll need extended suppression.
    What I MEANT to say was, keep yer 44 cross draw and the nine strong side. You don’t expect it when OH SHIT comes running or driving down the wash. Oh yeah, and maybe suspenders as part of yer EDC.
    Do what ya wanna do, we’ll be OK with it. Carry on.

  6. midwestmike says:

    No worries, Joel. It is nice to hear about all the little ins and outs of living in the boonies. The way this world is going I believe many more people will be wishing for a quiet life.

  7. Claudia says:

    Never commented before but I read your blog regularly. So, if you decide to keep blogging, I’ll keep reading. If you decide to bail on it…well, you do you. I’m living miserably in the city, but building a home in the boonies and waiting to retire and escape. Your blog lets me live vicariously through you 🙂 Enjoy your new gun; ain’t much better than a new gun.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Don’t change a thing, bud.
    One of my pet theories is that changes in old age will kill you. Mostly that applies to food, but evidence hints that routines may have equally deleterious effects upon longevity. And if you quit the blog, we’d just worry about you. Show a little consideration.
    Back in 1917 Russia a man saw the commie tide coming in and fled with his family to the Wild East. They were found in 1980something. The ones who embraced modern living and food quickly died, and the holdouts didn’t. I read about this a while back and my memory may be a little fuzzy, but it is a Sunday morning. Are they waiting for you at the hospital, doctor? No? Then settle back while I follow-up with my 57 page Ode to gulchendiggumsmoothem or whatever, never was good with the heathen languages.

  9. Bill says:

    I’ve got five years on you Joel, but as a long-time construction guy, I feel your joint pain. We are after all, kinda mechanically put together re/our joints. And a lifetime of heavy work and a few bang-ups along the way, tends to wear out those areas as we age. And like you, instead of my GP100 belted onto my worn-out hips, I now belt on a lightweight Ruger 3″ LCRX. We share the need also for a silent atmosphere, and as such, I wish you a continued peaceful aging process.

To the stake with the heretic!